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Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common health issue people live with today? Nearly 1 in 5 people, over 48 million, have some degree of hearing loss. Even though it is really common, hearing loss is still widely undertreated. In fact, only a third of people who could benefit from treatment actually receive it. Untreated hearing loss can have far reaching effects on everyday life, health, and wellness. This includes strained communication, relationships, social life, and health. One of the best things you can do for your health is actually treating hearing loss. Treatment is an investment not only in improved hearing health but also better quality of life.
Recognizing Signs of Hearing Loss
It takes an average of 7 years for people to address their hearing loss symptoms. Contributing to this delay in treatment is that hearing loss often occurs gradually so symptoms can remain unnoticed for quite some time. Being able to recognize symptoms can help you identify any changes you are experiencing to your hearing. Common signs include the following:
- Tinnitus: a buzzing or ringing like noise in one or both ears.
- Sounds are muffled or distorted.
- Struggling to hear or keep up with conversations in places with background noise.
- Lip reading to help identify individual words.
- Turning up the volume on the TV or other electronic devices.
- Asking others to speak louder, slower, or repeat something they’ve said.
- Pretending to hear to get through a conversation.
- Feeling lost or confused during conversations.
- Being able to hear more clearly out of one ear compared to the other.
- Avoiding conversations as much as possible, keeping conversations short.
- Skipping out on social events or gatherings.
- Participating less in hobbies or activities.
These symptoms can be mild to more profound, depending on the degree of hearing loss one is experiencing. Social withdrawal can impact relationships, social connection, and mental health. Extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss can increase a number of health risks including depressive symptoms, accidental injuries, falls, and cognitive decline. This highlights the importance of intervening as early as possible and addressing symptoms by seeking treatment.
Benefits of Treatment
Treating hearing loss offers numerous benefits that transform health and wellness. The most common treatment is hearing aids. These are electronic devices that absorb and process speech as sound. This provides the ears and brain with tremendous support that alleviates symptoms and increases one’s hearing capacity. In doing so, hearing offers major benefits including:
- Strengthening communication: hearing aids maximize hearing capacity by helping process sound. These devices offer a range of features and technologies that deliver enhanced sound quality in everyday settings. With this support, people are better able to hear and participate in conversations, strengthening communication.
- Improving relationships: communication is an essential component of relationships. Strengthened communication enables people to spend quality time with loved ones, engage in daily activities with greater ease and comfort, and to really connect which improves relationships.
- Enriching social life: with greater capacity to hear and engage, people are also better able to navigate social settings and activities. People can be more present, aware, and fully participate in social life which enriches social engagement and connection.
- Boosting health: treating hearing loss improves overall health in a number of ways. Research shows that treatment reduces health risks like cognitive decline, depressive symptoms, falls, and accidental injuries. Hearing aids strengthen cognitive function and support brain health as well as increase spatial awareness and safety.
These benefits transform hearing and overall health. Treatment supports a greater quality of life that people can be fully active in.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today
The first step towards treating your hearing loss is scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures hearing opacities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss and establishes your hearing needs. A hearing healthcare specialist is then enabled to tailor treatment to meet those needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test. We offer comprehensive services and individualized care that is invested in effectively supporting your hearing health. We look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health and wellness.